Monday, 23 October 2017

ANO leader files complaint about Twitter over documents

ČTK |
10 October 2017

Prague, Oct 9 (CTK) - Czech ANO leader Andrej Babis told journalists on Monday he had filed a legal complaint over the Twitter attack by the anonymous Suman group which gradually releases some documents and sound recordings about his activities.

The activities of Suman have crossed all the bounds, Babis said.

At the weekend, Suman posted online documents about the Capi hnizdo (Stork Nest) resort.

Babis said on Monday he had never owned the resort, just like Agrofert.

In 2008, the Capi hnizdo (Stork Nest) firm was a part of Agrofert, a giant chemical, agricultural and food-processing holding owned by billionaire, food and media mogul Babis. Afterwards, the firm's owner changed through a chain of transactions that made the new owner hard to identify. Then it won a 50-million-crown EU subsidy designed for small firms, which it could never get as part of Agrofert. A few years later, it rejoined Agrofert.

Babis denies any wrongdoing, arguing that the scandal is to harm his chances in the late October election to the Chamber of Deputies.

He is now prosecuted over the scandal.

The Twitter account posted scanned letters and documents proving that a bank knew between 2008 and 2010 that Capi hnizdo belonged to Agrofert.

If there were the connection, the resort would never be eligible for the EU subsidy.

The documents of the bank HSBC, whose authenticity cannot be verified, include a request for a loan for Capi hnizdo, presented as a congress, research and training centre of Agrofert.

According to the request, firms from Agrofert, cited as the mother group of Capi hnizdo, will be the main client and source of income.

"Capi hnizdo is a company directly owned by Babis," the request said.

Babis said yesterday he had not seen the documents.

"My lawyer has filed a legal complaint because Suman has clearly crossed all the bounds. The link between Suman and some Czech journalists is obvious," he added.

"Let the police check whether the documents are authentic. Neither me nor Agrofert have ever owned the resort," Babis said.

Last year, Babis told the Chamber of Deputies that at the time the request for the subsidy was filed, the farm was owned by his two adult children and brother of his partner and current wife Monika.

The European Anti Fraud Office (OLAF) has also been looking into the Capi hnizdo subsidy. It may complete its investigation by the year's end.

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